"Oh how I hate Ohio State"
It's a phrase I often hear tossed around this time of year, nicely summarizing the animosity felt between the two institutions. We've all know the history...
The battles between Bo and Woody,
the fiercly fought games,
the great victories
and the agonizing defeats.
Along with the long history behind it, The Game often has an intense personal importance for fans. But why do you hate Ohio State? Is there any instance that you can (Hoke) point to and say "This is the moment where I went from disliking That School in Ohio to hating them"? Or, is it a culmination of years of cheering for Michigan that have built up a steady distaste for that School down south?
For me, my dislike for Ohio elevated itself in 2005, and transformed into emnity in 2006. I was a sophomore in high school during Michigan's great 2006 campaign. I had been a big Michigan fan for my whole life, but I was still young and not as invested in the rivalry as I am now. The hype for the Michigan-Ohio game that year was huge. I was watching ESPN non-stop for days, absorbing every bit of information on The Game of The Century that I could. Then, the unthinkable occured. Bo, the hero of the Maize and Blue faithful and the patron saint of Michigan football, passed away. It was heartbreaking. Despite the fact I was too young to have seen a game by him I still looked up to him, he was a man who displayed every quality that (to use a much maligned cliché) a Michigan Man should, and thus he was a personal hero of mine.
The hype surrounding the game along with Bo's death put an immense importance in my mind. We had to win it. We had to win it for Bo. We had to win it because Ohio State had beaten us two years in a row (a streak, which now seems gloomily quaint). We had to win it to play for the national championship.
Unforetunately, in sports not everything goes your way (even for Michigan fans), and we ended up losing a close game. I was angry at everything: Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., the turf, the refs, even Shawn Crable. How could we lose? This was Michigan! We had such a great season, everything seemed to work in our favor until then. In school I had to face numerous jeers from my Sparty classmates and looks of gloom from my fellow Wolverines, and I knew why. Ohio State. It was their fault. It was at that time that my dislike for that southern school crystallized into the hate that so many of us feel. And I began to hate Ohio State.
So here we are, five years later, facing a battered Ohio State team. Michigan, on the other hand, is resurgant with our best record since that fateful 2006 season. I cannot help but think gleefully of the great oppertunity that we have to exact revenge on Ohio State.
So as we approach this most anticipated of annual meetings, I wanted to hear the rest of the MGoUsers stories. Why do you hate Ohio State? And what does this rivalry mean to you?
[Note: I know this is long post for a Board, and the mods can move it over to the diaries section if they see fit, but I put it on the board because I wanted to a discussion going, and I thought this would be the best way to start that.]